Fertilizer

What are you adding to your professional soil to help bring about vibrant, healthy growth in your professional learning and practice?  Here are a few resources that have been inspirational along my journey to bloom.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Podcasts

Podcasts are my go-to method of feeding my brain while I’m doing something else.  It’s multi-tasking and productivity at its best!  My favorite podcast time is during my workout; simultaneous brain and body boost.  What more could you ask for?  Some of my favorite podcasts include:

Techlandia— Three apps, three Twitter folks to follow, three edu-wins, lots of hilarity.

EduAllStars— Interviews with the Difference Makers in Education–the subtitle says it all.

TechEducator Podcast–Really useful information for integrating technology into any classroom.

Blogs

Blogs are the Starburst candies of professional brain fodder.  They are perfect for small doses of intense information and ideas.  Some are professionally written, and some, like this one, are ideas put out there by folks who are looking to learn and grow from each other.  Some of my favorites are:

Getting Smart–A wonderful, informative blog about all things innovation in education.

Matt B. Gomez–Matt is a Texas Kindergarten teacher who has amazing classroom ideas and activities around 21st century learning, inquiry learning, and tech integration.

Adventures of Library Girl–Jennifer LaGarde’s blog is an inspiration to me and bunches of librarians around the universe (I’m sure).

Around the Corner— Miguel Guhlin shares his thinking around transformational teaching, learning and leadership through the application of technology.

Hooked on Innovation–It’s always interesting following the innovation that Carl Hooker is leading in his school district.

Twitter

Twitter is my preferred source of education information, and it is where I find the majority of my inspiration.  But Twitter is only as helpful as the people you follow.  I keep my Twitter strictly professional, and I generally only follow people who use Twitter as a professional tool.  The best way to find great people to follow is to see who folks you like are following.  Here are a few great education related Tweeters to follow:

@web20classroom Steven W. Anderson, Top 50 Innovators in Education

@gcouros  George Couros, Division Principal of Innovative Teaching & Learning

@edutopia  Twitter account for Edutopia.org

@TechNinjaTodd  Todd Nesloney, 5th grade teacher and self-proclaimed “boundary pusher”

@ETRoundup  Daily updates on the latest EdTech news

Books

Professional books are a professional development standby.  They are one of the best methods of digging deep into a concept that someone has (presumably) studied and reflected upon extensively.  I do love print books, but I also appreciate the merits and benefits of eBooks as well.  Here are some titles on my “have read” or “can’t wait to read” bookshelf:

Why Won’t you Just Tell Us the Answer?:  Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12  by Bruce Lesh

I am completely inspired by this book to look at teaching Social Studies/History in a whole new way.  Lesh has really pinpointed some wonderful ideas for bringing critical thinking into the Social Studies classroom.

Making Thinking Visible:  How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ron Richhart, Mark Church, Karin Morrison

This is on the “to read” list, but it is a concept that I was just beginning to understand in my last few years in the classroom.  It took me a very long time before I realized that I needed to teach and model the thinking process for my students.  But once they become accustomed to the concept and the tools they will not cease to surprise you!

Untangling the Web:  20 Tools to Power Up Your Teaching by Steve Dembo & Adam Bellow

Adam Bellow really blew me away at ISTE, so I ordered his book because I want to be JUST like him.  🙂

Flip Your Classroom:  Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day  by Jonathan Bergmann & Aaron Sams

Although a controversial issue, I love the openness to innovation and student-centered learning that comes along with the idea of flipping a classroom.

Who Owns the Learning:  Preparing Student for Success in the Digital Age by Alan November

Another “to read”, but the concept of shifting ownership/control of learning from the teacher to the student makes me really, really happy.

Teach Like a Pirate:  Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess

This one was an inspirational read.  I can’t say the introvert in me could honestly bring this sort of theatrical energy to my classroom on a daily basis, but I would most definitely want my kid in Mr. Burgess’ class.

So how does your professional garden grow?  What keeps you current and inspired professionally?

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